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Janyl Benyl: A Healthier Way To a Slimmer Waistline



I woke up the other day with more and more people talking about a certain sudden fad – waist training. I found some excitement amidst me being astounded. It was a welcomed development, not the waist trainer itself, but the realization of the need for a slimmer waist. The reason I was particularly happy was because I knew that somehow, it meant more people would stumble at a better way of attaining their goals. We had to start from somewhere, right?

I remembered when my friend said that Nigerian ladies had nicer butts than all the Nicki Minaj, Iggy Azalea and Kim Kardashian of this world – except that they usually have big tummies which swallow up their otherwise great figures. I know I am not blessed with the fuller figure, I concentrate on accentuating my athletic body, but every time I see a beautiful full figure, I always wished there’d be no fats around the abdominal region, alas, most of the time, they only remain as wishes.

There has been a sudden craze lately with more ladies desiring a rather sculpted body which I quite appreciate. Call it a dream come true for me, but I am very particular about more people being intentional about healthy living. The reason is because while people are concentrating on modifying their appearances, there will be accompanying health consequences. We can only hope that everyone does it right, so the consequences will be positive ones.

Whenever you see someone with a big tummy, the explanation for this is fat present around the abdominal region which is clinically described as abdominal/visceral obesity. Obesity is a major risk factor for so many health conditions; from atherosclerosis, to diabetes mellitus type 2, to cancers (to mention but a few), obesity is found at the roots of these health conditions. Abdominal obesity is the more dangerous form of obesity.

I am more than pleased that more people are now conscious of the fats around their abdominal region, as opposed to when people would not worry about this at all. The only drawback is the rather drastic measures that are being promoted as the remedies for actualizing this “slimmer waist” craze. A prominent one is the waist trainer. The reason why this is not particularly healthy is because of the dangers that this can pose to the individual. Prolonged use of the waist trainers can cause damages to the visceral organs as well as the musculoskeletal system. If you have ever tried this waist trainer, you will notice that it pulls your tummy in tightly, which produces internal pressure and discomfort. You also realise that as it pushes tightly on your visceral organs, you start finding it difficult to breathe. Whenever I think about how uncomfortable trying to trigger this sort of internal pressure repeatedly could be, I am indeed worried about how hazardous to health this is.

Another worry is that, it is supposed to give rise to a physical distortion over time. This mechanism of pulling these tissues in tightly can lead to weak muscles and other structural deformities. The muscles around your abdomen are supposed to be strong, because they aid in the stability of your core. Deliberately triggering a weakness to these muscles can lead to problems of balance, posture and stability. I am not sure how beneficial it is to target these muscles whereas the culprit that should be targeted should be the adipose tissues. Fats around your abdomen cause the protrusions that manifest as pot bellies and love handles.

The reason why you have fats around your tummy is because you have stored up fats in your body. Fats are gained through the ingestion of food. A common mistake people make is not choosing their foods and meals properly. To carefully get rid of the fat around your tummy, you should try a healthy lifestyle. Eating foods that are high in cholesterol should be avoided. Exercising is also important. Aerobic exercises will particularly help to get rid of the excess fats in the body.

I remember one time when I was preparing for my exams and would grab anything I could lay my hands on because I did not have the time to source for healthier options. I was also studying till late, and that made me not care so much about when I was able to eat. I would eat in the middle of the night, and hit the bed the next minute. I still used to try to get my crunches in in the morning, because that is how I truly feel alive. What I noticed was that I had a strong a layer of muscle over what felt like a large mass of fat underneath. That brings me to the issue about people that concentrate on crunches to help them rid their tummy fat. Resistance training is great to build strong muscles, but the best remedy for ridding your body of fats is the aerobic exercises. When you have fat around your tummy, it is best to think about an overall healthy lifestyle; choose your foods wisely, plan your meals and exercise consistently. Your exercises should consist of both aerobic exercises that can help you get rid of the fat, and resistance training that can help you tone the muscles. This overall lifestyle modification will leave you healthier than ever, while attaining your desired looks.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Stockyimages

Janyl Benyl is a lifestyle blogger, creative writer, a health consultant and advocate. She is a Nigerian, currently sojourning in the UK where she is pursuing a career in Public Health. JB, as she is fondly called, is a lady with many talents. You can find her on her personal blog where she shares most of her interests - (or and on most social media sites linking in with @janylbenyl


  1. chy

    November 26, 2014 at 10:02 am

    not wishing to be lost in translation, can you illustrate which and which are aerobics training to buttress your points; not that i cant google it, but hearing it from you will sound better.

    • Que

      November 26, 2014 at 11:49 am

      Aerobic exercise (also known as cardio) is physical exercise of low to high intensity that depends primarily on the aerobic energy-generating process.[1] Aerobic literally means “relating to, involving, or requiring free oxygen”,[2] and refers to the use of oxygen to adequately meet energy demands during exercise via aerobic metabolism.[3] Generally, light-to-moderate intensity activities that are sufficiently supported by aerobic metabolismcan be performed for extended periods of time.[1]When practiced in this way, examples of cardiovascular/aerobic exercise are medium to long distance running/jogging, swimming, cycling, dancing and walking, according to the first extensive research on aerobic exercise, conducted in the 1960s on over 5,000 U.S. Air Force personnel by Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper.

      The rest is on wikipedia. Cheers.

  2. LadyRocks

    November 26, 2014 at 10:11 am

    I don’t understand? We know all the exercise and food moderation ish….Nothing new biko. So where are the TIPS on a healthier way….

    • TANTRA

      November 26, 2014 at 10:49 am

      JB dear, what was the new message you were trying to pass? Article should be titled “…Before you buy that waist trainer” or something else.

    • Esther

      November 26, 2014 at 10:59 am

      My exact thought!!!

    • Janyl Benyl

      November 26, 2014 at 8:34 pm

      “When you have fat around your tummy, it is best to think about an overall healthy lifestyle; choose your foods wisely, plan your meals and exercise consistently.”
      It’s an excerpt from what is written up there, by the way.

    • laide

      November 26, 2014 at 1:31 pm

      although u would have loved to hear new tips or fads on how to get a slimmer waistline..the only healthy options are exercise and food moderation.

  3. Que

    November 26, 2014 at 11:47 am

    I found the description of the specific effects of the waist tainer on the mid section, to be very useful. Thanks. More details on d fat burning will be welcome.

    • Janyl Benyl

      November 26, 2014 at 9:24 pm

      Hey dear,

      Try to retain less fats by checking your overall food consumption.
      Try aerobic exercises that can help you burn fat – swimming, cycling, jogging/running, hiking…
      Try to keep the duration for up to 30 minutes at least, to be able to engage the fat stores. You can adjust the intensity and duration to suit your goals, and of course how much fat you have stored up.
      Keep it consistent, 4 – 6 times a week is great.

      Add some resistance exercises – crunches are perfect for engaging the abdominal muscles. Add some rotating movements to fully engage the obliques. They are responsible for rotating the trunk, this helps to target the love handles.

      Swimming is one of my best recommendations. It engages the muscles well, while functioning as a cardio workout as well.

      And finally, you want to be very careful what foods you eat at least 3 hours to bed time. Your metabolic rate slows down when you sleep and most of the food will be retained during that period. Be smart with your food choices, ESP at night when you need to eat something. Some good options include: Yoghurt, Vegetables, Whole grains, Smoothies, fruits …

      Hope that helped.
      Feel free to reach me if you have more concerns


  4. Dee

    November 26, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    I thought there would be a freshness in this article but i was wrong…. pls what are the tips?

  5. oj

    November 26, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    it would be nice to know the type(s) of exercise to do to get a slimmer tummy.

    • Grace E

      November 26, 2014 at 5:40 pm


    • Grace E

      November 26, 2014 at 5:41 pm

      I also believe it is more of what u eat that matters and then exercise completes it

  6. Anonymous

    November 26, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    When I heard of waist trainers,what concerned me the most were its side effects,which no was able to mention but somehow knew there was a certain degree of risk involved. Thank you for highlighting these negatives.

  7. Tosin

    December 2, 2014 at 7:31 am

    Sistas asking for specifics, wait, you want someone to tell you to drink salt water while circling your bed three times or what?

    See, when you see a big mountain of food, cut half and eat. When you see borokoto, ignore and eat fish. Where you see buffet, go for the vegetables. When you see fruits on the road, buy and keep at home and eat.
    Instead of locking yourself in traffic for four hours a day, walk a little. Pressure our politicians/town-managers to create spaces for swimming, bicycling, walking, jogging, and other activities.
    At home, try bellydancing, any kind of dancing until you sweat (sounds like fun!) pushups and situps or even chin ups if you can install a bar. A horizontal bar o, not alcoholic bar. Drink LOTS of water. Don’t eat after sunset, if you eat after sunset, it has to be like pawpaw or a green vegetable. If you eat salad, no salad dressing. If you drink coke/soft drinks, stop. Drink lots of water.
    Not saying make life hell and boring, I can still drink palm wine small and I don’t do any sports and my tummy is not model-like, but just saying she has already explained all: “Fats are gained through the ingestion of food.” Eni ti o maa puro fun yin le nwa (una dey find person wey go lie for una)
    Some people will say they have no time, but life was meant to be enjoyed o, not only to hustle and count money or fulfill responsibilities. Before we know it, the whole life sef is over.

    • Diuto

      January 15, 2015 at 6:25 am

      Tosin sofry sofry y u dey vex na. Abi ur waist trainer don cut/tear? Jus kidding o! Lol @ drink salt water while circling your bed 3 times

    • jhennique

      January 15, 2015 at 12:17 pm

      Tosin, you are wise

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